UAE recovered from the loss of an early wicket to go on and defeat Singapore in a crunch match, which would decide the second team to qualify from Group A for the semi-finals.

Both UAE and Singapore were overflowing with confidence after their games played yesterday, against Oman and Thailand respectively. Today’s match at the Bayuemas Oval was eventually the decider as to who would join Nepal in the semi-finals and neither team could afford to crack under the pressure.

As they’ve done previously on winning the toss, UAE chose to field. Although irritated by Singapore’s defensive tactics at the start, UAE got their deserved breakthroughs; yes, breakthroughs, in the seventh over. Muhammad Ali (3-29) penetrated Rohan Tripathy’s (4) defence to have him bowled in the first ball, danger-man Anish Param (0) fell in the fourth ball to a reflex caught and bowled and James Muruthi (0) in the fifth ball was plumb LBW.

By the end of the tenth over, Singapore had lost another wicket and at 15-4, never looked like even making it close to 100. But hope came in the form of Timothy Singham (53) in the tenth over. Singham lasted 37 overs and had a partnership of 24 runs with Jayanth Ganapathy (17) and a 62-run partnership with Mohammad Rizwan (34*) which helped the team reach a sound score of 146. Singham fell to a brilliant catch at the end of the 47th over as Singapore added just 15 runs before being bowled out for 161 in the final over.

Considering UAE’s strength in batting 161 never seemed too much but the fall of opener Arjun Lamba (2) in the third over had UAE shaking for a bit. The right-handed Wasim Bari (45) was on next and he forged a solid 66-run partnership with opener Mehtab Ali (33). Bari batted with an aura of self-belief hitting six four’s and a sky-high six.

After Bari’s exit in the 27th over, the runs slowed significantly, but came nonetheless. Batsmen number seven and eight, Jai Patel (24) and Owais Hameed (21), showed the depth in UAE’s batting as they closed out the match in the 45th over after a 45-run partnership.

UAE now join Nepal in the semi-finals and Wasim Bari, for his all important knock of 45, was the man of the match.

Singapore v UAE at Bayumas Oval
UAE won the toss and chose to field
Singapore: 165 for 9 in 50 overs (T. Singham 53, R. Madakia 34*; M. Ali 3-29)
UAE: 166 for 6 after 44.3 overs (Mehtab Ali 33, W. Bari 45; R. Tripathy 3-33)
Man of the Match: Wasim Bari (UAE)


Filed August 25 2007